Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Ironman Wisconsin Champ!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Galveston 5150-Spur of the Moment Addition

Galveston 5150 TX

Swim: Cancelled (high winds)
Bike: 54:37  Fastest split  26.8mph  316w
Run: 34:52  7th fastest split
Overall: 1:30:14  Second place

Added this race to the schedule only a week ago, had a great recovery from Wisconsin and could feel a real boost in fitness on the bike.  Plus I've just had the desire and hunger to race more this year when normally in September I'm counting down the days to the last race.  Didn't really know what to expect coming off of Wisconsin, but I knew I was in the best shape of my life, just didn't know if it would show.  Ultimately I figured that if I raced awful I wasn't any worse off than if I didn't race at all.
Weather was awful from the time I arrived, and it kept me inside all day Saturday with storms and strong winds all day.  There was a chance for storms Sunday and I was worried the entire race would be cancelled.  At the pro meeting I learned the swim was already cancelled since the wind was only going to pick up for Sunday.  For the race we did a TT start, always a little nerve racking since you never know what place you're in and have to go max effort all the way to the line.  I was really strong on the bike, once I got through the initial first few miles and onto the highway I picked up the tailwind and rode the final 8.3 miles to the turnaround in 15 minutes, 33mph.  The strong headwind wasn't an issue at all on the return trip, it was very steady and not gusting at all so controling the bike wasn't hard at all like I feared.  Posted the fastest split on the day and could sense from my placing amongst others that I must be near the lead.  Ran the 10k with the urgency of racing for the win.  The run legs weren't really all there, but for racing an Ironman 14 days ago, and 24 miles of running in the past two weeks I really can't complain, the run legs were still decent.  Only checked my watch at 2 miles and saw 10:57.  People said the run course was close to a quarter mile long so I'm pretty please with the split.  Pushed all out to the end, complete with sprint finish, never want to be the person to lose by 1-2 seconds in a TT start format.  Thought I was second, but had to wait to hear it officially.  Very happy I did this race, picked up another good result and a good start on points towards 2014 HyVee qualification if I want to pursue that next year.  Wish there were more races this time of year, feeling the best I've ever felt this late in the season.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ironman Wisconsin-Finest Race Execution to Date

Ironman Wisconsin
Swim: 53:00  6th fastest split
Bike: 4:49:15  23.2mph  249 watts  4th fastest
Run: 2:57:26  2nd fastest
Overall: 8:46:00  2nd place

Race morning I was amped like I've never seen before.  Just preping my bike my heart rate was hovering around 120.  I ended up having probably my best triathlon swim ever and made the lead group even in choppy conditions.  I'm still not exactly sure how I pulled that off since 10 minutes into the race I saw myself swimming next to guys who I eventually beat out of the water by 3-5 minutes.  I knew as soon as we made the first turn we would be heading straight into the chop for 20+ minutes and I had to be on someone's feet for that section.  I kept moving up, must have made it just onto the tail end of the lead group when we made the turn, and then the groups must have split as we headed into the chop and I was fortunate enough to get pulled along at the end of the lead group.  I actually got dropped about three times but was able to swim my way back up to the group each time.  A little over halfway the surges stopped and the pace was really easy the entire rest of the swim.
Onto the bike I had a power plan that I was pretty confident in.  I knew the final 20k would be into a strong headwind and be critical.  As such I really went out easy and let most of the front pack go, riding in sixth position.  I gradually increased the power through the first lap, but never rode hard, and made sure to never spike my power up the numerous climbs.  Through 56 miles I had moved into third but given up 10 full minutes to the front two.  I tried my best to increase my power the second loop but the course was so crowded with lapped racers that it was very difficult, I had to come to a near complete stop at one aid station.  Finally I made it through the second loop unscathed and the final 20k back into Madison is where my conservative pace at the start really paid off.  I recorded my highest 1 minute, 5 minute and 10 minute power output all in the final 20k of the ride.  Maik put 10 minutes on me in the first 56, and added just 4 more in the last 56.  Second place put 10 minutes on me in the first 56, and I cut his lead down to just 3 minutes by T2.

Onto the marathon I immediately felt the benefits of a well executed bike.  My running legs were there almost immediately and I was putting the brakes on the first 10k and still seeing 6:20 splits.  I went through a rough patch from 7-13 miles but was still running 6:45 pace and slowly pulling second place back.  I hit the first 13.1 in 1:26:26 and shortly after made the pass for second place.  I felt great again for miles 14-20 and at one point was cutting a minute per mile from the leader.  With 10k to go I was 7 minutes down and thought I had a chance.  Then the usual discomfort of the final 10k set in and my pace slipped to 7 minute miles.  I ended up a little over 5 minutes off the win.  My marathon splits of 1:26:26/1:31:00 was the most balanced marathon I've ever run and I ended up missing my marathon pr by 6 seconds!

                                                 Overall a great race for me, no doubt my best executed 140.6 ever.  Between making the front swim pack, and pacing the bike and run really well I can see only minor flaws with my race.  If I could do it over again I would push a little harder on the bike, but I never anticipated someone breaking the bike course record by 3 minutes and having a 10+ minute lead on second into T2.  I plan to finish my season at Ironman Arizona in November.